U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- On 28 September 2020, a warrant was served in Jacksonville Florida, just before 8 a.m. The warrant was not a no-knock warrant. There is evidence the officers serving the warrant attempted to announce themselves with loudspeakers and by knocking. The warrant was served by a Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) team and the DEA. When they did not get an answer, they started to break in. They were not wearing body cameras.
Diamonds Ford started shooting at them. She hit one officer in his vest, which saved him from a bullet wound. She called 911 and told the operator her home was being attacked.
Operator: “Ma'am give me the name of the street.'
Ford: “7232 Rutledge. Please Hurry.
Operator: “What's happening?”
Ford: Someone is shooting.
Ford: “We gonna die.”
Operator: “7232 Rutledge Pearson Drive, do you know who is shooting?”
JSO: “Open the front door.”
Ford: “Oh wait, what, wait, that's the sheriff's office. Okay hey hey hey, hold on, wait wait wait, hold on wait, whoa.”
There is more on the video. This partial transcript gives you the flavor.
It is hard to deceive convincingly, on the spur of the moment. Diamonds Ford sounds very convincing.
Ford says she and her fiancee were sleeping, awoke to the sound of breaking glass, and she fired at the presumed home invaders.
In the United States, people prize their Second Amendment rights. Their home is their castle. People serving warrants need to take special care.
A warrant announcement that is not heard, is equivalent in effect to a no-knock warrant. One troubling aspect of the raid – no officers wore body cameras. Some neighbors say they were sleeping as well and did not hear the announcement.
This situation can happen to people of any race or religion. We saw a similar event in Houston. The Breonna Taylor case has similarities. The important difference, in this case, is no one was killed. The officer who was hit was protected by his vest. The officers did not fire blindly into the home when they were fired upon.
Diamonds Ford and Anthony Gantt were charged with armed possession of marijuana with intent to sell and attempted murder of a police officer. From news4jax.com:
Although, the judge did acknowledge that some neighbors who were interviewed by police said they were asleep and didn’t hear anything at all before or during the raid.
Charbula also left the door open for a possible bond reduction down the road.
“If, during the discovery process, the Defendant discovers evidence that weakens the State’s claim that the Defendant knew that it was JSO outside her window before she fired and shot a SWAT detective multiple times, this Court will allow the Defendant to file a subsequent motion to reduce bond,” Charbula wrote.
Local attorney Gene Nichols, not affiliated with the case, believes this is promising for the defense.
It helps if the home defender has a sterling record. In the Diamonds Ford case, the couple had some minor criminal history. From jacksonville.com:
A check of Duval County jail records shows both suspects have only a few past local arrests. Gantt was arrested in 2013 for auto burglary and this past May for driving with a suspended license, drug possession and fleeing the scene of an accident. Ford's arrests included one in 2014 for child abuse, and another in 2010 for fighting.
Minor criminal history is not enough to deny someone their Second Amendment rights.
You cannot have both Second Amendment rights, the right to defend your home as your castle, accepted and widespread in society; and not expect startled homeowners to occasionally shoot police officers who, by some combination of circumstances, do not announce sufficiently to make their presence clearly and unequivocally known.
These types of raids are becoming well known. The public response is not in the favor of the police. Americans love their Second Amendment rights and prize their ability to defend their homes with lethal force.
More and better announcements are happening before breaking down doors.
More police will wear body cameras on the raids. Everyone is going to be held to more accountability through ubiquitous digital recording devices.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.